HistoryThe first true seeds of bboying where planted in 1969 by a well known singer / dancer called James Brown. He was always recognized for his funky songs and unique dance moves, but Brown really started something special when he released and performed his hit song ‘Get on the Good Foot’.
The moves he did quickly became identified and practiced by many, but some New York gangs (of those days), mostly from the South Bronx, discovered a new creative outlet. This new style would incorporate floor rock (or down rock, or footwork) that was like no other style of dance.
These crews from New York practice and then would use break dancing to:
1. Show superiority,
2. Insult, and/or
3. Gain respect.
Even if these battles would often result in physical fights at first, it would become far easier to ‘serve it up’ on the dance floor (rather than getting in real trouble with NYPD).
So, they would come up with new moves, and new ways to insult the other crew. They invented a form of pretend fighting, known as uprocking, where they would swing punches (or other attacks), without hitting the opponent, while stepping on beat.
In this process they formed the basics of bboying and battling. Toprock moves, floor rock moves, and simple powermoves were developed as more crews got involved, and new promoters stepped up.
A whole genre of dressing is also associated with the breakdancing scene. Breakdancers typically wear low pants, T-shirts and a hat tipped sideways. The dance must be done in sneakers, for the dancer's safety. Breakdancing is known as an especially dangerous sport for several reasons. It is not unusual for a dancer to get something caught, stubbed or stopped while moving in air. This dance is never done on a soft surface. It emphasizes the rough, raw urban feel of fighting. As a consequence, several dancers have broken their necks, and one died notably in 1982, due to a breakdancing move gone wrong
The predecessors of this dance are unusual. It is possible that this dance comes partially from the lindy hop, and also from the Charleston. Several moves are inspired from Kung-fu, and once or two have support actions that are almost balletic. Breakdancing is associated with the streets of New York, and often when competing teams would dance to win, a real fight would break out. Inherent in the term "break" is an element of the dangerous. HTe muscles developed under this kind of dancing are the same used for fighting. The harsh and foolhardy nature of the dance is almost a game of chicken against an assailant. The best breakdancer, in the early 1980's, was often the best fighter or gang member on the street
Types•Modern breakdancing consists of four different types of moves: Top Rock, Down Rock, Freezes and Power Moves. Top Rock moves are introductory style moves, and are preformed standing up. These moves mainly consist of some stylized step movements or arm motions and generally are preformed before and after more complex moves. Down Rock, conversely, is performed with hands and feet on the floor, and showcase the breaker's ability to move their feet while keeping their body on the ground. Power Moves are the most iconic part of breakdancing, and consist of highly athletic and stylized acrobatic moves. Everything from spinning headstands to high-jumping flares fall into this category. This is the hardest element of breakdancing, and is also the most stylistic. Freezes are stylish poses that usually follow a power move or conclude the routine.
Because breakdancing is a very physical type of dance, it is important not to attempt it unless you are a professional or are being supervised. Some of the more technical moves require intense body control, and serious neck and back injuries can result if you don't know exactly what you are doing
Breakdancing Basic Dance Techniques
Breaking is about coordination, technique, momentum and strength working together, and in many forms. Uprock is a dancing fight, in which the dancers break closely next to each other without touching. Toprock is the basic footwork of the dancer and is unique to each dancer. Downrock is when a dancer falls backwards onto his hand and rotates his feet around the axis of his hands as he keeps his body horizontally and close to the ground. Freezes are the stopping of all movement during any sequence of dance moves. The harder the move when the freeze is executed, the harder the freeze
Toprock involves any form of steps that begin at a starting position. These are typically transitional moves that help you build momentum before you start the downrock moves. Downrock moves are the "footwork" moves that lead to complicated physical contortions; the foundational downrock move is the "6-step." Power moves require the dancer to create momentum with the body, supported by the upper body, so he can achieve such moves as windwills, swipes and flairs. Finally, the dancer will end a series and variation of the above moves with a pose or suicide. These moves often look like a contorted handstand or pike, while suicides look like painful falls or drops executed in ways that do not injure the dancer.
Break Dance Steps
Simple top rock.
TicTac (russian kicks)
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